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Paramedic Programs in Virginia with Certification and Course Info

There are 18 schools within Virginia that have paramedic training programs. Read an overview of ten of the largest schools' programs, requirements, and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

Essential Information

Within the state of Virginia, students can pursue paramedic training programs at 18 different colleges. The majority of schools offer associate degree programs in emergency medical services (EMS) and certificate programs in paramedic training. Some EMS degree programs allow students to specialize in paramedic studies. Prior to acceptance into paramedic training programs, nearly all schools require students to already be practicing emergency medical technicians (EMTs). Other prerequisite requirements may include submitting to medical screenings, background checks, and being CPR certified.

Central Virginia Community College

Lynchburg-based Central Virginia Community College has an Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Medical Services (EMS)-Paramedic degree. The 72-credit-hour program takes five semesters to complete and includes an EMT-Basic course. Students interested in the degree program must be at least 18 years old and hold a high school diploma or GED. Applicants to the program must be CPR certified and apply for special admittance to the paramedic program. A career studies certificate for registered nurses (RNs) aspiring to become paramedics is also available.

J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College

Students at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond can choose between an EMT-Paramedic career studies certificate or an Associate of Applied Science in EMS-Paramedic. The certificate program is open to currently certified intermediate-level EMTs and requires the completion of 20 credit hours of coursework. The entirety of the curriculum demanded by the certificate program is included in the A.A.S. program, which is a 71-credit-hour program for actively certified basic-level EMTs over the age of 18. Both programs include two field internship courses and two clinical internship courses.

Lord Fairfax Community College

Located in Middletown, Lord Fairfax Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science in EMS degree to students who hold current certification from the NREMT or the State of Virginia as an EMT-Basic or higher. The two-year program is designed to prepare students for careers as entry-level paramedics in the EMS field. The curriculum for the program consists of 66 credit hours of coursework, such as anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, and pathophysiology, and includes clinical and field internships. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, complete a physical exam, and provide immunization records. Admittance preference is given to applying students within the Lord Fairfax Community Service Area.

Northern Virginia Community College

Northern Virginia Community College, based out of Annandale, administers certificate and degree programs for students desiring to become paramedics. The college's EMS-Paramedic career studies certificate consists of 18 credit hours earned over the course of one year. Applicants to the certificate program must hold current EMT-Intermediate certification, pass a background check and drug screening, and provide immunization records. Students accepted into the EMS Associate of Applied Science program will complete 67 credit hours of coursework over two years. The program includes EMT-Basic training; applicants must be at least 16 years old to take the EMT-Basic class and 18 years old to take the intermediate- and paramedic-level classes. Both programs include clinical and field internships.

Patrick Henry Community College

Students interested in earning an award as a paramedic from Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville may choose to pursue a career studies certificate or an Associate in Applied Science degree. Pending approval, the 23-credit-hour certificate program will require that all applicants be enrolled in the college's EMT-Intermediate program or possess current certification as an EMS provider at the intermediate level. The EMS-Paramedic degree requires five semesters to complete 69 credit hours in such topics as operations, special populations, and trauma care. Admission requirements for both programs include a drug screening, a background check, an EMS physical exam, and a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better.

Piedmont Virginia Community College

In addition to an Associate of Applied Science in EMS (Paramedic) degree, Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville also offers two tracks that lead to a career studies certificate as a paramedic. Both certificate programs consist of 21 credit hours of coursework and require that applicants be over the age of 18, able to pass background checks and drug screenings, and be CPR certified as a healthcare provider. One track has been designed for registered nurses who also hold EMT-Basic certification to bridge their education and qualifications to serve as a paramedic; the other track is designed to build upon the skills held by currently certified EMT-Intermediate professionals. The 68-credit-hour degree program requires that all applicants hold EMT-Basic and CPR certification and have met minimum competency standards in math, science, and reading/writing. All programs involve classes in pathophysiology, patient assessment, and pharmacology.

Southside Virginia Community College

Alberta-based Southside Virginia Community College offers both a career studies certificate as an EMT-Paramedic and an Associate in Applied Science in EMS degree. The certificate program requires the completion of 30 credit hours; the degree may be awarded after a student earns 72 credit hours. The two-semester certificate program is open to intermediate-level EMTs; the curriculum is slightly different for students holding NREMT certification and those certified by the state. The five-semester degree program is open to all students, and its curriculum includes EMT training at the basic level. The programs are offered not only at the college's main Christanna campus in Alberta, but also at the John H. Daniel campus in Keysville.

Thomas Nelson Community College

Based in Hampton, Thomas Nelson Community College's EMS-Paramedic career studies certificate program requires the completion of 20 credit hours of coursework and is open to currently certified EMT-Intermediate professionals.

Tidewater Community College

Located in Norfolk, Tidewater Community College provides students with a choice between a paramedic certificate and a paramedic degree. The college's EMT-Paramedic certificate program requires the completion of 28 credit hours of courses, such as EMS professional development and operations. The Associate of Applied Science in EMS is a 74-credit-hour program. Although the degree program includes basic EMT training, the certificate program is only available to individuals holding current EMT certification at the intermediate level or comparable work experience in the EMS field. All classes required by the certificate program are also included in the degree program's curriculum. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, free of any felony convictions in the last five years, hold a high school diploma or equivalent, and consent to a background check.

Career Requirements

According to Virginia's Department of Public Health, certification requirements for paramedics include completing training program requirements and passing state-approved exams. Of course, prior to applying for paramedic certification, Virginia requires professionals to already be certified EMTs. Training requirements at the paramedic level include at least 781 hours of instruction and 136 hours of clinical rotation training, and the clinical training must take place in critical care medical settings. State-approved certification exams are offered through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). Below are reviews of paramedic certificate and degree programs offered at 10 of the largest schools in Virginia.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Paramedic Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)
Central Virginia Community College Public, two-year; small city A.A.S. in EMS-Paramedic,
RN to Paramedic Bridge Career Studies Certificate
$4,470 in-state; $10,308 out-of-state*
J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Public, two-year; large suburb A.A.S. in EMS-Paramedic,
EMT-Paramedic Career Studies Certificate
$4,653 in-state; $10,491 out-of-state*
Lord Fairfax Community College Public, two-year; rural A.A.S. in EMS $4,424 in-state; $10,262 out-of-state*
Northern Virginia Community College Public, two-year; large suburb A.A.S. in EMS,
EMT-Paramedic Career Studies Certificate
$5,138 in-state; $11,055 out-of-state*
Patrick Henry Community College Public, two-year; rural A.A.S. in EMS-Paramedic,
EMT-Paramedic Career Studies Certificate
$4,360 in-state; $10,198 out-of-state*
Piedmont Virginia Community College Public, two-year; small suburb A.A.S. in EMS (Paramedic),
EMT-Intermediate to Paramedic Bridge Career Studies Certificate,
RN to Paramedic Bridge Career Studies Certificate
$4,445 in-state; $10,283 out-of-state*
Southside Virginia Community College Public, two-year; distant rural A.A.S. in EMS,
EMT-Paramedic Career Studies Certificate
$4,350 in-state; $10,188 out-of-state*
Thomas Nelson Community College Public, two-year; mid-sized city EMS-Paramedic Career Studies Certificate $4,416 in-state; $10,254 out-of-state*
Tidewater Community College Public, two-year; mid-sized city A.A.S. in EMS,
EMT-Paramedic Career Studies Certificate
$5,171 in-state; $11,009 out-of-state*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

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